I was musing about what to write today, and as I traveled the web the thought occurred to me that I am always telling you how to take care of pest problems, but how about helping you identify what pest is causing the damage? Sometimes you may have spotted the pesky creature, but most of our customers seem to be guessing at what lurks in their gardens by night. So I found the following information published on the web by the UMass Amherst Center for Agriculture and I thought I would pass it on. (hyperlinks have been added by me – UMASS Amherst in no way endorses predatorpee.com)
Damage by Wildlife (Vertebrates)
Rabbits, Voles, Woodchucks, Deer, Chipmunks, Squirrels
All eat leaves or fruits of plants in vegetable gardens. Symptoms include:
Large parts of the plant are chewed off
Leaves are nibbled; stems cut
New growth is uniformly nibbled off
Plants are eaten to the ground
Fruits are damaged or removed
To help determine what vertebrate animal is causing the damage, sprinkle a layer of finely ground limestone around the damaged plants and look for animal tracks left in the powder the next day.
Rabbit damage can be identified by foliage that has been nipped off sharply, leaving no ragged edges. Seedlings might be grazed to the ground, and new growth uniformly nibbled off. Look for pea-sized droppings in the vicinity. Rabbits don’t travel far from their burrows or resting places. They feed at dusk, in the night and early morning. They favor tender beans, beets, broccoli, carrots, lettuce and peas. Deer damage can be easily confused with rabbit damage, but usually large parts of plants are chewed off and deer tracks will be evident in the soil.
Voles damage seedlings by chewing leaves and stems. Vole damage can be confused with cutworm damage because voles will move down a row of seedlings eating just the stems and toppling plants. Or, they might nibble only on the leaves. They feed mostly at night. Look for vole tunnels in grassy areas at the edges of the garden. Voles stay close to their tunnels and sometimes tunnel right into the garden. Problems are more likely to occur when vole populations are high.
Woodchucks tend to trample plants as they feed. They feed close to their burrows during the day, especially in mid-morning and late afternoon. Like rabbits, woodchucks seek shelter in weedy areas, stonewalls, brush piles or under porches and outbuildings. They like corn, beans and peas, but will browse on many tender garden vegetables.
Chipmunks and squirrels may develop a taste for fruits, such as tomatoes or strawberries, more often than the leaves of vegetables. Watch your garden in early morning and at dusk for rodent activity.”
Hope this is helpful. Once you identify the pest, make sure to get some all natural, organic 100% PredatorPee – accept no substitutes!
Until I find some more words. . .